National, state races on ballot as well as 14 amendments

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

The general election is upon us and residents have a lot of things to make final decisions on before voting on Tuesday.

The big decision that has the nation’s attention is obviously the Presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Current predictions have Alabama as a lock to give its nine electoral votes to Trump.

There are also several other races to be decided on the ballot, including a local race between Democrat Steve Thrash and Republican Chad Copeland for the Pike County Commission District 4 seat.

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The two candidates are looking to fill the seat of retiring long-time commissioner Ray Goodson. Neither has served in political office before.

Another key race on the ballot is the race for the second Congressional District.

If incumbent Martha Roby only had to defeat Democrat challenger Nathan Mathis, the path back to office might be a bit smoother for her. However, she also faces a write-in campaign from her previous Republican challenger Becky Gerritson.

Roby sparked outrage from many constituents when she announced that she would be withdrawing her support from Donald Trump.

In response, some residents in the district have voiced that they will be writing in Gerritson instead of supporting the Republican nominee.

Residents also have to choose between incumbent Richard Shelby and Democrat challenger Ron Crumpton for U.S. Senator, but Shelby has served in the role for decades and seems unlikely to lose his seat.

There are also 14 amendments on the ballot.

The amendments most immediately concerning Pike County residents are amendments 3, 4 and 14.

Amendment 3 changes the process of deciding what constitutional amendments need to go on statewide ballots or only on the ballots of those affected. It would dissolve the commission that currently makes that decision and pass it to the legislature, who could allow the amendment to be posed only to the affected county with a unanimous vote.

Amendment 4 would give the county commission more authority over personnel decisions and policies while leaving the power to levy taxes and other major changes with the state legislature.

Amendment 14 retroactively solidifies local laws that were passed incorrectly due to a technicality of the law. This amendment would protect these laws from lawsuits.

Amendments 5 and 8 do not change the law.

Amendment 5 removes outdated language and simplifies two different parts of the constitution into one article. Amendment 8 would reinforce the right to work in the constitution. It is already included in the Code of Alabama.

Amendments 7. 9, 10 and 12 all deal with issues specific to other counties only.

The other amendments on the ballot are:

• Amendment 1: This amendment would add two at-large members to the Auburn University Board of Trustees and ensure that no more than three members have terms expiring in the same year.

• Amendment 2: This amendment would disallow money generated by state parks to be transferred to the General Fund. It would also give state parks the power to allow for maintenance and operation by private entities.

• Amendment 6: This amendment would erase the limited parameters for impeachment and create a clear process for impeachment.

• Amendment 11: This amendment would allow cities and counties to buy land that is deemed worthy for manufacturing and sell it for less than market value.

• Amendment 13: This amendment would remove age restrictions for all political offices other than judicial offices.

The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is too late to apply for an absentee ballot with the exception of a medical or business emergency.

For more information about the election, contact the Pike County Board of Registrars at 334-566-6449.